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Natural Cooperation

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Adrien Hallou.

Cooperation means that one individual pays a cost for another to receive a benefit. Cooperation can be at variance with natural selection. Why should you help competitors? Yet cooperation is abundant in nature and is important component of evolutionary innovation. Cooperation can be seen as the master architect of living matter, as the third fundamental principle of evolution beside mutation and selection. I will present some mathematical principles of evolution of cooperation.

Further reading:

Nowak MA (2006). Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University Press. Nowak MA & Highfield R (2011) SuperCooperators. Simon & Schuster. Hilbe et al (2018). Evolution of cooperation in stochastic games. Nature 559, 246-249.


Martin Nowak is Professor of Mathematics and of Biology at Harvard University. He is Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. Nowak studied Biochemistry and Mathematics at the University of Vienna. Later he worked at the University of Oxford and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of over 400 scientific papers and 4 books including “SuperCooperators” and “Evolutionary Dynamics”.

This talk is part of the Theory of Living Matter Group series.

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